Last edited: January 24, 2005

GLIL Praises Libertarian Organizations for Contribution to Sodomy Case

Cato Institute, Institute for Justice Among Those Filing Friend-of-Court Briefs

Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty, March 25, 2003
P.O. Box 3913, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Tel: 202-903-5555

“What consenting adults do with their minds and their bodies in the privacy of their own homes is no concern of the government,” noted Richard Sincere, chairman of Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty (GLIL), today. “This is the clear message from the libertarian organizations that have contributed legal arguments in the Texas sodomy case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this week. GLIL applauds these contributions.”

The case, Lawrence v. Texas, presents the Court with an opportunity to reverse its earlier position that states can control and regulate private, intimate, sexual behavior between consenting adults.

Two libertarian organizations, the Cato Institute and the Institute for Justice, have submitted amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs that argue that the government has no authority to prohibit or regulate such activity.

“Libertarians believe that a consistent ethic of individual liberty and personal responsibility requires the government to refrain from regulatory activity except when non-consenting persons might be harmed,” said Sincere. “The role of government is limited to protecting the life, liberty, and property of individual citizens.”

Put another way by Cato Institute vice president for legal affairs Roger Pilon, “Libertarians argue that the government has no business in the bedroom or in the boardroom.” Or, as Institute for Justice attorney Dana Berliner explained to the New York Times: “If the government can regulate private sexual behavior, it’s hard to imagine what the government couldn’t regulate.” (Full disclosure: The Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm, represented Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty in filing an amicus curiae brief in another landmark case involving gay issues, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, in 2000.)

The Institute for Justice brief in the Lawrence case can be found on line at <>, while the Cato Institute brief can be found at <>.

GLIL chairman Sincere noted: “We hope that the Supreme Court sees and understands the wisdom of the libertarian position, and frees all gay men and lesbians from the unjust constraints placed on them by the sodomy laws in 13 states.”

Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty was founded in 1991 to promote the ideas of free enterprise, individual liberty, and personal responsibility. For more information, visit the GLIL web site at <>.

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